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United States v. Iron Shell

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
633 F.2d 77 (1980)

United States v. Iron Shell


John Louis Iron Shell (defendant) was accused of assault with intent to rape a nine-year-old girl, Lucy. Lucy was examined by Dr. Mark Hopkins the night of her assault. During the course of his examination of Lucy, Hopkins asked her what happened, and Lucy replied that a man had dragged her into the bushes. Hopkins then asked her if the man had taken her clothes off. Lucy replied that he did. At Iron Shell’s trial, the prosecution called Hopkins and Hopkins testified as to what Lucy had said during the examination over Iron Shell’s objections. Hopkins explained that he used Lucy’s answers to determine where on Lucy’s body to examine more closely. The prosecution claimed that the statements fell under the hearsay exception in Rule 803(4), that they were statements made for the purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment or the cause of medical symptoms reasonably pertinent to diagnosis or treatment. The court permitted the testimony. Iron Shell was convicted, and appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stephenson, J.)

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